A Dietitian’s Halloween

When Halloween rolls around each year, I am inundated with questions from parents…

As a parent myself, I learn on a daily basis so I would like to preface this blog by saying I am not the “candy police” but rather a parent who happens to be a dietitian raising 2 young children and trying to figure out what the right balance is.

I do know from looking at the research studies that an all-or-nothing Approach to treats simply doesn’t work for any of us— adults or children.  Denying a treat will only end up causing a person to obsess about what we can’t have and also increase the risk of over consuming the very food we have denied ourselves to have.

Setting boundaries around how often, how much and what kind of treat you will allow your kids to have is a more balanced and successful approach.  We have the one treat per day rule at my house, except on special occasions.  My kids are 7 and 9 and they manage the treats pretty well.  I am working at empowering them to learn what balanced eating is.

When it comes to Halloween I keep it pretty simple.  We buy chocolate bars or chips to give out.  (I choose to buy things that I can pronounce the ingredients of.)

If I can’t pronounce it, chances are it is a chemical.  Research studies have linked multiple health issues to dyes, additives, and chemicals but that is another conversation for another day.

When my kids come home they dump their bags out onto the floor and throw out all the gummy candy that has been created into unique Halloween shapes, Gatorade goes in cupboard for dad to use on a long run and the rest goes back into their bag.

On Halloween night they have more than one treat, generally 4-5 small treats.  What’s interesting is they are the ones who stop, put their candy back in the bag and put it away.  I generally don’t have to say anything.  They tell me they don’t feel good when they eat too much junk food and so they are learning how to listen to their body.

I practice what I preach, and enjoy my own treats in moderation. My kids have told me it’s not so bad having a dietitian for a mom!